I'm one of the featured artists in the current summer 2018 issue of Pages magazine, a publication of Cloth Paper Scissors. My Italy journal is the focus of the article with instructions on how to make the paper folded cover. The magazine is available at Barnes and Noble bookstores.
Sunday, July 1, 2018
"Dwell as near as possible to the channel in which your life flows." Henry David Thoreau
Summer is here and observing birds started in March. I photograph for several months and have a backlog of images to draw from. Going out nearly everyday and just observing helps develop a keen eye and a delight in seeing the variety of behaviors in all the animals. Not to mention the calming experience of being outdoors and around the trees, plants, plains, and ponds.
Below are pages from my notebooks where I've learned about drawing birds. Around this time of year I return to books about drawing birds by John Muir Laws and John Busby. I also learn from watching John Muir Laws YouTube videos of study sessions and instruction. He is a fine teacher and artist helping you to understand not only drawing birds but overall nature drawing and journaling. He breaks down the information and really inspires you to go out and try these techniques.
Here is a link to his website: https://johnmuirlaws.com
I also greatly enjoy the books and art of nature artists Hannah Hinchman and Cathy Johnson.
Below, I'm working from drawings of John Muir Laws to understand the basic structure and then further simplifying the structure to create more accurate looking sketches without too much detail. The drawings on the right in the two following photos are John Muir Laws and my studies are on the left. I have a habit of photographing my work in progress and/or holding it up to a mirror. I find in both processes that I can easily identify the areas I want to improve.
Sunday, June 3, 2018
I practice lettering everyday varying the tools. Sometimes I use calligraphy pen nibs - chiseled point such as a Brause, or Speedball, pointed pen nibs, or markers, or pencil to draw monoline letters, pressure sensitive letters, or more structured, architectural letters. Below are some pencil examples. These are not finished pieces but daily practice and experimentation. You may notice that the paper is thin. I'm working in 7 1/2"X 9" notebooks (graph paper, lined paper, or unlined paper such as the moleskin paper below). If you practice lettering for ten minutes at night you will notice a difference in your handwriting the next day.
I've studied lettering for forty years on my own and with national and international calligraphers through workshops at local calligraphy guilds and at the annual calligraphy conference. This on-going passion in lettering started when I was a child fascinated by the shapes, rhythms and patterns of letters and eventually found its way into more formal training. Once I learned several traditional hands (Italic, Roman, Foundational, Uncial, Versals) then I expanded my learning, and continue to do so, with other styles such as Neuland, Uncial variations, Weaver Writing, Dancing Capitals, Casual Capitals, Modern Versals and the list goes on. There is so much to learn and much fun in experimentation. Calligraphy is not limited to one style!
I use my lettering all the time in hand calligraphed envelopes, cards, handmade books, gifts, calligraphed banners, etc. It's a joy to add beauty to this world. My friends and family have a treasure trove of these gifts. Some have even collaged them into their own work. They take on a life of their own and keep the gift going.
In older posts on the this website you'll find drawings. The translation of shapes, patterns, and the quality of line also inform that art. There always was music in my family as I was growing up. Music (pattern, rhythm, nuance) again appear as I'm learning now to play classical guitar.
Look, take time to really see, and you'll find a world of beauty all around you.